The Reasons Homes Must Have Smoke Alarm Systems
All it takes is 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a big fire. This means that families do not have a lot of time to make it to safety when this occurs in their home. The National Fire Association states that more than two-thirds of deaths that occur from fire occur because there were not any smoke alarm systems present in the home. The right alarm can save families from devastation, simply by alerting them of the fire as soon as it occurs.
Fire Moves Quickly
Fire can spread in a matter of seconds and become life threatening in a matter of minutes. All it takes is a total of five minutes for an entire home to be taken over by flames. Sometimes, it is not just the flames that need to be of concern. The heat and smoke that result are just as dangerous. The heat can cause burns on the inside and outside of the body, especially in the lungs if the incredibly hot air is inhaled. In addition, when the air around the fire is inhaled it could cause a person to become asphyxiated from the poisons that fires emit and the lack of oxygen in the air. This could cause a person to fall asleep and not be able to escape the fire, which makes fair warning crucial to a person's safety.
Unfortunately, a majority of fires that occur happen at nighttime when everyone is sleeping. This makes it even more crucial to have working fire alarm systems throughout the home. It is not enough to have one or two alarms, however. There should be one installed in and near every sleeping area as well as on every level of the home, including the basement. This gives everyone in the home the best chance at hearing the alarm, even if they typically sleep rather deep and allows them to find safety.
Check the Alarms
A portion of the two thirds of homes that were affected by a fire had smoke alarms present, but they were not working. These cases are positive proof that checking the alarms and performing maintenance is crucial. Pick a date each month to test the alarms around the home. All that you have to do is press the button on the front of the unit to ensure that it works. Twice per year, a date should also be picked to routinely change the batteries, regardless if the unit is still working. This will give the unit a chance at longer effectiveness, in the event that it is needed.
Making Children Aware
Another crucial factor in the safety of everyone in the event of a fire is making children aware of the sound that smoke alarm systems make. When children are unfamiliar with the sound, they could become frightened and end up hiding rather than following the fire escape plan. As a family, it is crucial to discuss the fire escape plan several times per year. During that time, allow children to hear the smoke alarm and even test it themselves so that they can become aware of the noise that they might hear in order to increase their level of safety in the event of a fire.